Voelker Orth Museum


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School Programs

The Voelker Orth Museum offers hands on school programs in science and the humanities.

School Programs 2014-2015

The Voelker Orth Museum offers a variety of school programs in science and local history. All programs include a hands-on learning component as well as outdoor activities in our garden.

Experience the history and nature we have to offer at the Voelker Orth Museum, Bird Sanctuary, and Victorian Garden. The Museum occupies a landmarked 1890s house and garden in Flushing, Queens and provides a unique, engaging, and relaxing space for visitors of all ages to experience local history and horticulture. The intimate setting allows for us to give our full attention to one visiting class (up to 30 students) at a time.

We aim to support our colleagues teaching in classrooms around the city by developing programs that complement New York State's Learning Standards and the Common Core Learning Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy.

Grades PreK-6 Programs:

$95 per class (material fee included).
Available Tuesday through Friday, 10:00 to 11:30 a.m.
Class size is limited to 30 students.

Programs can be readily adapted for audiences with special needs.

Programs include an outdoor component, please dress accordingly.
School bus parking is available in front of the museum on 38th Avenue.

Advance payment is required. A full refund is available for cancellations up to 15 days prior to the scheduled program

Please call (718) 359-6227 or email education@vomuseum.org to make a reservation.

Right click here to download a copy of our school progams brochure

Right click here to download the registration form

Science Programs

Terrarium Gardening

Miniature glass gardens were first introduced by Dr. Nathaniel Ward in 1827. After a brief introduction to the history and concept of terrariums, participants will explore the processes that drive nature's water cycle and the basics of plant life, including the things plants require in order to grow and thrive, their life cycles, and how plants respond to changes in their environment. Students will construct their own terrarium garden to take home.

This program strives to meet the following NYS Science Standards:

Physical Setting, Standard 4: 2.1a, 2.1c, 3.1g, 3.2a, 3.2b, 3.2c 4.2a.
Living Environment, Standard 4: 1.1b, 1.2a, 4.1d, 5.1a, 5.2a, 5.2g, 6.2a, 6.2c

Key Concepts: Water cycle, evaporation, condensation, precipitation, runoff, groundwater, energy, the needs of plants, life cycles, environment, adaptations.

Teacher's Resources:

Terrarium Gardening

Terrarium care

Garden Animals: An Introduction to Ecology

The Voelker Orth Museum's garden provides a habitat for many remarkable creatures. While exploring our garden, students will examine the relationships between plants and animals and learn about the things animals need to live and grow. Students will discover the special characteristics, adaptations, and behaviors that allow organisms to thrive and learn how they can attract these animals to their own garden!

Please select one theme per workshop:

A. Birds, Our Feathered Friends

-Students will make a bird feeder to take home

B. From Caterpillar to Butterfly

-Students will make butterfly art to take home

C. Who is Afraid of Honey Bees?

-Workshop includes a visit to our working bee hive (excluding winter months). Students will sample honey and create a collage-art quilt as a class to take back to school.

This program strives to meet the following NYS Science Standards:
Living Environment, Standard 4: 1.1a, 1.1b, 1.2a, 3.1a, 3.1c, 3.2a, 4.1a, 4.1e, 4.1f, 4.1g, 5.1a, 5.1b, 5.2b, 5.2c, 5.2d, 5.2f, 5.2g, 6.1b, 6.1e, 6.1f, 7.1b, 7.1c

Key concepts: The needs of living things, animal anatomy, life cycles, adaptations, competition, animal behavior, environment, ecosystems, habitat, animal/human interaction.

Teacher's Resources:

Who's Afraid of Honeybees Pre- and Post Visit Guide

Who's Afraid of Honeybees Vocabulary Sheet

Who's Afraid of Honeybees Take-home Art Activity

Plants We Eat

Do you know where carrots, French fries, popcorn, grapes, and lettuce come from? Using a variety of familiar fruits and vegetables, students will classify plant parts, learn their functions, and identify how plants produce food for themselves and other animals. Participants will discuss the things plants need in order to grow and the adaptations that allow them to thrive in a particular environment. Students will start a plant from seed to take home.

*This program is readily adaptable for young learners (pre-K and K)

This program strives to meet the following NYS Science standards:

Physical Setting, Standard 4: 3.1b,c,f.
Living Environment, Standard 4: 1.1a, 1.1b, 1.2a, 2.2a-b, 3.1.b-c, 4.1b, 4.1d, 4.2b, 5.1a, 5.1b, 5.2a, 6.1a, 6.1b, 6.1f.

Key Concepts: The needs of plants, life cycles, pollination, plant reproduction/seeds, plant anatomy and classification, food production, environment, plant adaptations.

Teacher's Resources: Plants We Eat Pre- and Post Visit Guide

Humanities Programs:

A New Home in a New Country

Explore our historic house to discover how one immigrant family made their home in Flushing, Queens over 100 years ago. Experience our restored turn-of-the-century middle class family and explore objects from the Museum's collection. Students will compare their own experience, traditions, heritage, and cultural background with that of the Voelker Orth family through discussing and by examining family artifacts.

This program focuses on the life of Conrad Voelcker, a publisher who emigrated from Germany and established a German-language newspaper in New York City. Students will develop their information literacy by closely examining one of Conrad's newspapers and hone their printmaking skills by creating their own newspaper front page to take home.

This program strives to meet the following Standards:

Common Core Learning Standards for English Language Arts & Literacy: RI2.1, RI.3.4, RI.4.3, RI.4.4, RI.4.5, RI.5.3, RI.5.4, RI.5.5, RI.4.8, W.4.9, W.5.9, SL4.1-3, SL5.1-3.

NYC Social Studies Scope & Sequence Elementary Performance Indicators: 1.1a, 1.2a-c, 1.3a, 1.4b-c, 2.4b, 2.4c, 3.1c, 3.2a, 3.2c.

Key Concepts: local history, heritage, tradition, immigration, community, geography, information and visual literacy, culture, artifacts and primary sources.

Teacher and Student Feedback

The children loved it. It was wonderful!
— Ms. Zaimi from St. Demetrios School

Thank you so much for teaching us. We all had a lot of fun.
— Kari from PS 184

It was our best trip this year! It was so much fun being with you.
– Class 2-205 from P.S. 84


149-19 38TH AVENUE, FLUSHING, NY 11354  |  718-359-6227  |  CONTACT US  |  © 2014 THE VOELKER ORTH MUSEUM